Thousands Across Canada Call for Federal Action on Poverty

For Immediate Release

Ottawa, ON, October 6, 2015 — As the federal election campaign nears its end, people in over 50 communities across Canada are taking to the streets on Tuesday, October 6 to call for a National Anti-Poverty Plan.

In the lead up to the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty on Oct. 17, volunteers with Dignity for All: The Campaign for a Poverty Free Canada are joining thousands across Canada as part of the annual “ChewOnThis!” event which draw attention to the nearly 900,000 people across Canada who have to rely on food banks each month to put food on their tables.

Poverty has been largely absent from the election campaign, and yet it is at the centre of the issues each party has been highlighting:  the economy and low wage jobs, health, and income security for seniors. Poverty IS an election issue.

Volunteers passionate about ending poverty converge in major cities all over the country at noon this Tuesday to ask people across Canada to join the growing call to end poverty in this wealthy nation. There is no excuse for inaction.  Dignity for All’s model National Anti-Poverty Plan, was released earlier this year following years of public consultation and expert review.  We have the tools; we need the political will.

Media Availability:

Where: Wellington St. at O’Connor St. in front of Parliament Hill

Who: Ottawa-Centre federal candidates (Paul Dewar, Catherine McKenna, and Tom Milroy), Citizens for Public Justice Executive Director Joe Gunn, Canada Without Poverty Executive Director and UN Special Rapporteur for Adequate Housing Leilani Farha.

When: October 6th 2015, 11:30am

“When did Canada simply decide that 4.9 million people living in poverty was something that we accept as a nation?” Executive Director of Citizens for Public Justice, Joe Gunn, says. “Statistics show that across the country, numbers of people visiting food banks have increased by 25% since the 2008-9 recession.”  This is only the tip of the iceberg considering over 3 million people are considered food insecure in Canada.

Leilani Farha, Executive Director of Canada Without Poverty and UN Special Rapporteur for Adequate Housing says, “It is so disappointing that during this election there has been scant mention of the scandalous rates of homelessness, hunger, and poverty in one of the most affluent countries in the world.”

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Dignity for All: the campaign for a poverty-free Canada, headed by Canada Without Poverty and Citizens for Public Justice, is a multi-year, non-partisan campaign supported by over 10,000 individuals and 600 local and national organizations calling for a comprehensive federal plan to eliminate poverty.

ChewOnThis! is a national campaign to raise awareness of food insecurity, and call for the establishment of a national anti-poverty plan to address the systemic issues poverty in Canada.  Thousands of Canadians are demanding the federal government establish a plan to eradicate poverty and hunger for the nearly 900,000 people in Canada who use food banks each month and for the millions of others struggling to get by. The United Nations has called for it, the Senate has called for it, and the House of Commons has called for it.  It is time for a plan.

Website: https://dignityforall.ca/

Twitter: @DignityForAllCA & #ChewOnThis

Contact:  Brad Wassink, Citizens for Public Justice, at 613 232-0275 x.225  or ac.jpc@darb.

James Armbruster, Canada Without Poverty, at 613-986-7761 or ac.psc-pwc@semaj.

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